Top 15 FAQs

Dentist Saratoga Springs

Why should I choose Smiles for Life Dental Care?

What is Sedation Dentistry?

What is MI Paste?

I hate flossing! Isn’t there another option?

Why do I need my filling replaced? They don’t bother me.

Like everything that is a repair, nothing we do lasts forever. Unfortunately, long before you may “feel” anything (which occurs when the nerve is involved), bacteria is leaking around and under the filling, causing more cavities and rotting away more tooth. Using an oral digital video camera, we can examine together the condition of your fillings. We are preventive professionals entrusted to recommend care for your long term wellness and health.

My tooth needs a root canal, but I’ve heard horror stories. Why?

First, please do not listen to your friends. Most of the pain associated with root canals occurs BEFORE treatment. Often, this comes from delaying needed dental treatment until the nerve is involved. Many dentists do endodontic (root canals) therapy in several visits. Unfortunately, this method tends to “stir things up” multiple times and allows for pain-inducing bacteria to reinfect the canals between visits. For years, Dr. Johnson has been providing ONE-visit root canals with excellent success and maximum comfort. The most common response is that the tooth felt like it had a bruise for a couple days.

I have a tooth giving me trouble. Why shouldn’t I have it pulled?

Having your tooth removed is always an option. However, are dentures your goal for your oral health and appearance? Did you know that those who keep their teeth live an average of 10 years longer than those who do not, according to 3 university studies? Consider the quality of your life without teeth before choosing extraction over treatment.

Am I too old to wear braces?

Never. These days an attractive smile is more important than ever. In fact, the fastest growing segment of our population choosing braces are adults. Moreover, teeth that are properly aligned are easier to keep healthy and problem-free. Today, with Clear Aligner systems, there are no wires or metal brackets. Ask us if invisible braces are right for you.

When should I first take my child to the dentist?

We encourage children to come in to check out the office, watch a family member during their visit and go for a ride in the chair before their own visit. If they are comfortable with our office, then by the age of 2 or two teeth we welcome them for their own visit.

Why do I have to have my teeth cleaned every 3 months? Why does it matter if my gums bleed a little bit?

We would love nothing more than to fix and forget your gum problems, but unfortunately that is not how periodontal disease responds. Periodontal disease is a terrible low-grade infection that destroys the bone and ligaments holding your teeth in your head. The only symptom you may have in the early stages is bleeding gums and bad breath. It cannot be cured; it can only be successfully managed. Moreover, active periodontal disease is one of the highest risk factors for stroke and heart disease.

How can I make my teeth whiter?

A half dozen boxes of White Strips will eventually get parts of your front six teeth somewhat whiter. If you want awesome predictable and rapid results, the best method is a combination of in-office whitening followed by an at-home custom tray professional grade whitening system.

For chipped, worn, and restored front teeth, porcelain veneers provide the smile you always dreamed of in as little as one visit. Call today for your cosmetic evaluation.

I just have “soft teeth” like my parents. Isn’t that why I have so many cavities and problems?

Nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone’s teeth are made from the same “recipe.” What you feed them or leave on them every day in the way of sugars (cavity food), plaque (bacterial bugs, dead bugs, and the bug poop), and acid (digested sugars and especially soda) are what doom them to decay and gum disease. Our dental prevention and nutritional counseling can stop this process and even reverse it. Don’t give up, there is hope.

What can I do about my bad breath?

Most chronic bad breath is from undiagnosed gum disease. The bacterial toxins, inflammation, and “pus” infection is the cause. Smoking and alcohol can cause smelly dry mouth. In addition reflux, and other GI disorders can cause bad breath. Please don’t be embarrassed to ask or come in. We’re here to help.

Why do I need a crown? Can’t you just fix it with a filling?

A filling is much like using Bondo™ for repairing a rust hole in a car. When over half of the car is Bondo™, it is not nearly as strong and certainly not long-lasting. Unlike a filling, a crown protects and strengthens the broken-down tooth and has it looking like new.

Why do I need dental x-rays?

Without x-rays, we cannot see inside of the tooth, under fillings or in-between the teeth: the three areas most prone to getting cavities. In addition, x-rays reveal bone loss from gum disease, abscesses, tumors, or cysts. Caring for a patient without x-rays is like flying in the dark without radar.

All of our x-ray units and sensors are low-dose, high-detail and fully digital equipment manufactured since 2009. In addition, hazardous processing chemicals, heavy metals, and film impacting the environment have been eliminated. With our high-tech equipment, your exposure will never exceed the amount experienced in about 2 days of everyday atmospheric radiation exposure.